In the slow month of August, Boeing booked net new orders for 26 jets, according to data released Tuesday.
Rival Airbus, though still far ahead of Boeing in orders for the year, had a tougher report in August: It canceled a massive order in the midst of a bitter dispute with airline customer Qatar Airways.
In terms of production, both manufacturers are still building planes at a much slower pace than planned.
Each is struggling with supply chain issues. And Boeing is additionally saddled with the difficult and slow work of taking out of storage and prepping for service both 737 MAXs and 787 Dreamliners that have been stored for a long time.
Boeing delivered 35 commercial jets in August while Airbus delivered 39.
Airbus gives up on Qatar
Boeing booked net orders for nine 737 MAXs in August and for five 787 Dreamliners, the latter an order from lessor AerCap announced at the Farnborough Air Show in July.
Boeing also booked orders for eight 767 freighters for UPS and four 767-based KC-46 air-to-air refueling tankers for the Israel Defense Forces.
After a record jet-sales haul in July, Airbus had no new orders in August and recorded a whopping order cancellation: 19 large A350-1000 widebody jets.
According to market pricing data from aircraft valuation firm Avitas, after standard industry discounts those planes are worth approximately $3 billion.
This large cancellation is the result of a bitter legal dispute with Qatar Airways.
In London’s High Court in the U.K., Qatar is suing the jetmaker, claiming that deterioration of the paint work on its existing fleet of 19 of the same aircraft exposes lightning protection mesh underneath and poses a safety risk.
Airbus has challenged that claim, saying the damage is cosmetic.
Outraged by Qatar’s position, Airbus had earlier this year canceled the airline’s order for 50 smaller A321neo jets. With August’s A350 cancellation, it has now revoked all outstanding orders from Qatar and practically severed ties with the airline.
The dispute leaves Boeing with a clear run at future orders from Qatar, one of the largest buyers of commercial jets. At Farnborough in July, Qatar finalized a deal for 25 MAX 10s.
Despite the August cancellation, Airbus remains well ahead of Boeing in the annual orders race, with 637 net orders to Boeing’s 388.
Jet deliveries remain slow
From its Renton plant in August, Boeing delivered 27 MAXs and one P-8 anti-submarine plane for the New Zealand Navy.
Boeing also delivered two 787 widebody passenger planes, one from Everett and one from North Charleston, South Carolina, as well as five bigger widebody freighters built in Everett.
That’s not counting two long-stored 787s that were “contractually delivered” to American Airlines in August. Those planes flew to Victorville, California, where Boeing will perform interior modifications including of the in-flight entertainment systems.
Only after that work is complete, which Boeing says will be in the coming weeks, will the manufacturer get the revenue for those planes and officially count them as delivered.
Airbus’ deliveries consisted of 33 A320neo family narrowbody jets and six widebody aircraft, all passenger planes.
Boeing has said it aims to produce a steady stream of 31 MAXs per month, but that’s not apparent yet in the deliveries. The 27 delivered in August included some newly built jets off the assembly line and some taken out of storage.
Boeing declines to specify how many of each are included in the delivery total.
Meanwhile, Airbus is struggling to get engines for its otherwise completed A320neos and having to store undelivered jets. Its delivery of just 33 A320neos in August is well below the pace needed to reach its delivery goal for the year.
Tallying 2022 deliveries through the end of August, Airbus has delivered 380 jets to Boeing’s 277.
Airbus has said it aims to deliver about 700 airplanes this year. To achieve that, it will have to average 80 deliveries a month for the remainder of the year.
In the matchup between the key rival narrowbody jets, Airbus has delivered 298 A320neo family aircraft and Boeing has delivered 231 of its 737 MAXs.
Correction: Based on initial information supplied by Boeing, an earlier version of this story misstated which country took delivery of the one P-8 jet delivered in August. It was New Zealand.